Monday, October 27, 2008

Quail Hunting...

Well it was a BEAUTIFUL week weather wise. We had several awesome evenings with temperatures in the mid 60's, calm wind, and not a cloud in the sky.

Saw a very nice mature whitetail buck and doe one evening on the way home from work as I turned the corner on the way to the house so that was neat (they were on my property about 400 yards from the house with 2+ hours of daylight left - I think the rut must be starting).

I saw the first ever pheasant on my property, a huge rooster that flew into my CRP grass from my sorghum that I planted this spring.

However, I only saw 1 covey of about a dozen quail on the property around the house. I shot 2 of them and that will probably be the extent of my quail hunting around the house unless I see more quail than that. Late this summer I had 2 good coveys hanging out, but not sure where the other one went. The cotton fields haven't been stripped yet so they may be hanging out in them.

Dove season goes 1 more week but there aren't many dove hanging out around here right now. I think we need another hard cold front to bring the rest down but hunting season will be over by then. I may do a little quail hunting down on my Fisher county property, I have 3 or 4 good coveys down there, but I hate to quail hunt during deer season since I would rather shoot a nice deer than some quail. Maybe I'll get a big buck down early and be able to spend some time on quail.

Here's my results from Saturday's hunt. 2 Dove and 2 Quail.

I'm hoping to go down to our land in Fisher county this weekend for opening weekend of deer season. Not sure if that will happen or not though.

I did get my chainsaw out and cut up some smaller dead trees around the house and got some firewood ready. It started right up and worked great.

Not a lot else happening here.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Dove hunting

Well, I got to go out dove hunting this evening and got my limit (15) right as the sun went down. Our dog Baby helps me find them after I pull the trigger.

Not a whole lot else to talk about. Things at work have a little lull before they are going to start picking up again for real in a few more weeks. Cathy went to Weatherford to visit her parents so I'm on my own this week. I should be able to go out dove hunting a few more times this week after work but the season is over this weekend, but that means quail season starts this weekend too!

That's about it for now.


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

New trail camera - Videos!

Well, I got a new trail camera and put it out a month ago and was pretty happy with the results this weekend when I went to check on it. It is a tiny camera compared to my others (it is smaller than a coke can) and it seems to work very well also. It cost about the same as the last one but seems to work much better. Hopefully it will last better since I'm already sending in my last one for repairs under warranty.

It got as many animals set out on a trail as some of my other cameras did set up on feeders!

I had a hard time deciding which ones to post so I'll just post a whole bunch of them and if you want to click on them then go ahead. I've had cameras out on the property for nearly 2 years now, and the scoutguard got my first bobcat on film in less than a month of being out there.

I got a bobcat and coyote on camera:

I got several different bucks on camera:

A couple young bucks decided to have a sparring match right in front of the camera:

I got several does with and without fawns:

And here is a video of a what seems to be a single doe walking by, but right at the end you see a shadow on the right of the screen and the next video is her twin fawns walking by. (I have it set to take 10 second videos then pause 5 seconds and take another 10 second video if there is still motion detected)

That's about it. Hope you enjoy the videos. There were about 50 good videos but several were of the same deer on different days and a few pigs and raccoons as well. Overall I was very impressed with my new camera.


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Weekend at the land

Well, Cathy went to visit her parents and help with her mom after she had knee surgery so I went down to the land this weekend. I wanted to shoot a pig to try out my new meat grinder making sausage and had a few projects to get done as well and I was supposed to meet a guy there who was going to buy my old trailer plus of course I wanted to check my trail cameras.

I bought a new husqvarna chainsaw last winter with the intention of using it to do some work down on the land as well as cut up some firewood to bring back to the house but never did get around to it until this weekend. I pulled it out of the box and read the instructions and mixed some 2 stroke oil and bought some chain oil and was ready to go. After 2 days of trying to start it I'm about to give up on it. The amazing thing is that one of the main reasons that I chose that particular model of chainsaw was because I read several reviews of how easy it was to start compared to other chainsaws. I'm going to take it in and hopefully there is an easy fix.

I ended up using the tractor as a chainsaw on some of the trees that I had intended to trim back and it actually worked pretty good. I just put the loader up on the tree trunk about 5 or 6 feet off the ground and gave it a good push and branches and trees up to about 5" - 6" would just break off. I may have got more done that way than I would have with the chainsaw. I also mowed a few shooting lanes through the brush to help me be able to see the deer when they are moving through. I may end up making these a little wider and plant some wheat or oats on them for next fall.

Here is a view looking south from my hunting blind:

Here is a close up of the shooting lane that I cleared:

I may end up putting in a few more shooting lanes at some point and maybe even plant some wheat and oats or clover or something in them. It is almost impossible to see deer moving through the mesquite it is so thick.

Here's a picture from the blind looking out into the mesquite. Believe it or not, I've actually done some clearing before this picture was taken.

I sat in the blind 2 nights and 2 mornings and saw deer each time except for the last morning. I saw pigs on the first morning for just a brief period moving through the trees and then shot a pig on the 2nd evening at the feeder when they came in basically after dark. I was BARELY able to see the pig through the scope and it dropped right in it's tracks so I didn't have to mess with tracking it in the dark. So, I was able to try out my new meat grinder and ended up making 30lbs of breakfast sausage. I made a spicy batch and a mild batch and it turned out pretty good. I didn't add any fat to the mix and it turned out a little lean for sausage but I'm not sure if that is really a bad thing or not. The pig ended up a little bloody so I won't post a picture of it.

I was really happy with my new trail camera. I had it on video mode and I got videos of a bobcat and coyote as well as several deer and pigs. It is on a trail and seems to work very well. The bad news is that I didn't get any pictures of stickers or double wide. They seem to have shifted their ranges and aren't coming to the protein feeder anymore. I have 2 other bucks that are both decent bucks that are still showing up sporadically but the consistent users of the protein feeder are now all young bucks.

Not sure when I'll be able to get back down there. Maybe for the opening of quail season, but I might not be able to get back down there until deer season starts.

I think that is about it. Nathan

Monday, October 6, 2008

Nothing exciting...

Well, back to the grind this week. Got the elk butchered and that took a little longer than I had expected but also got a new toy in the process, a small meat grinder that worked pretty well to make some elk burger and I'll hopefully be trying it out making some pork sausage sometime soon. When it was all said and done, we ended up with around 200lbs of meat in the freezer so that helps a little in justifying the expense of going on the hunt. It calculates out to some pretty expensive meat though!

I'm getting caught up at work and with chores around the house. The tractor still isn't running as well as it should, but I did get some work done with it, planted about 3 acres of wheat and oats and got some mowing done. The mosquitos are out of this world after that last big rain! They actually ran out of insect repellent sprays at nearly every store in Lubbock last week. You know the mosquitos are bad when there was over a 1/2 page article on the front page of the newspaper about them!

That's really about it. Just trying to get back in the habit of posting once a week again.